FST Hosts 2014 Young Playwrights Festival Ceremony Tonight

FST Hosts 2014 Young Playwrights Festival Ceremony Tonight

The plays are here! Florida Studio Theatre's 2014 Young Playwrights Festival has begun. Plays from over 3,000 playwrights were received from all over Florida and across the globe. FST is proud to announce that the winning plays of the Under Six and Seven Up programs have been selected. The winning playwrights will be honored tonight, May 10th at the Young Playwrights Festival awards ceremony.

Many of these students had never had a theatrical experience prior to The Playmakers' visit to their schools. With the guidance of FST Acting Apprentices and the pure unfiltered creativity of these students, thousands of plays are written and submitted for the honor of being performed at the Young Playwrights Festival weekend.

When asked about the process of selecting the winning plays, Beth Duda, FST'S Director of Education, said, "Selecting the plays for Under Six and Seven Up is a wonderful challenge. Each year, I marvel at the creativity and heart the students so willingly share. Their writing is powerful and pure. From plays of great humor to adventure stories, to plays that show us the painful realities of life, these writers move us and illuminate their world for us. It is such an honor to be part of the creation of these "mini-masterpieces". To give the children a forum for what they think and feel is so very important. Can you imagine what is must be like? To be 9 years old and take the time to put ideas from your imagination on paper....then, have a team of twenty adults take what you say seriously. They stage your work, and then it's seen by over 12,000 students. Wow! I love that I get to be a small part of that magic."

Winners of the 2014 Young Playwrights Festival and their families will gather at Florida Studio Theatre's downtown campus to see their plays and celebrate their achievements. The playwrights will have the opportunity to see their winning plays performed in professional productions of Under Six and readings of Seven Up. Winners will receive a special certificate and a medal honoring their courage to create.

The creation and culmination of the Write-A-Play program not only enriches the lives of the students, but also those who have the honor to guide these young playwrights. WAP Coordinator, Patrick A. Jackson, stated "Just witnessing the number of winning and honorable mention playwrights stand during our YPF award ceremony brings me to tears - joyful tears. To know that you are part of something so great, that has such a profound impact on so many youth is truly amazing. I look forwarding to applauding the work of this year's recognized playwrights!"

In conjunction with the Sarasota Festival of New Plays, the Young Playwrights Festival includes a 10-week run of Under Six, a world premiere production of an anthology of exemplary plays written by children in grades K-6. Directed by Beth Duda & Jason Cannon, and performed by FST's acting apprentices, carefully woven stories come together in this collection of plays with reverence to the written word of their young creators. Approximately 12,000 students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties are bussed to FST to see the work of their peers.

If you are interested in attending a performance of Under Six, the show is running now through May 23 and costs $6 to attend. Please contact Patrick Jackson - WRITE A PLAY Coordinator - at (941) 366-9797 for show times or other questions.

ABOUT THE SARASOTA FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS: The Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to provide a forum for playwrights of all ages to develop plays that can be fruitfully produced. From our young playwrights to emerging adult playwrights and seasoned playwriting veterans, the Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to expand the breadth and depth of thought in American theatre by encouraging people of all ages and all perspectives to write plays. FST has presented the Sarasota Festival of New Plays for 21 years.

New Play Development is the lifeblood of FST. It is a year-round activity that is fully integrated with each of the theatre's other programs. FST's approach to new play development focuses on the continued life of the work. Aside from presenting world premieres, FST frequently provides plays with their second, third or fourth productions. For example, in the 2009 Sarasota Festival of New Plays, FST provided Black Pearl Sings! with its 3rd production. Black Pearl Sings! has gone on to become one of the most produced plays in the country in 2010. In addition, in 2010, in partnership with the National New Play Network, FST presented the rolling world premiere of Jericho by Jack Canforna.

Tickets to the events, plays, and performances can be purchased through the FST Box Office by calling (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the website at floridastudiotheatre.org.

ABOUT FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE: Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the renovated Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab Theatre.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.

UNDER SIX Winners

Chomp!

Phillippi Shores Elementary IB World School, Ms. Williams - 1st Grade

A Flash Into Time by Joshua Fitzgerald

Sarasota Christian School, Mrs. Spraker- 5th Grade

Hand Kisser by Logan Wendell

Rowlett Magnet Elementary, Ms. McDaniel- 5th Grade

Lost in Space by Zackary Asbridge

Garden Elementary, Ms. Burkett- 5th Grade

Mr. E and the Case of the Stolen Jewel! by Nicholas Paredes

Fruitville Elementary, Mrs. Cain- 5th Grade

One Stuck Rock by Luke Downes

Sarasota Christian School, Mrs. Spraker- 5th Grade

Peter's Homework by Logan Schultz

Garden Elementary, Mrs. Ionescu- 4th Grade

The Princess and the Guitar by Ada Borovikov

Yamit School, Ms. Chesnokova & Ms. Rassami- 6th Grade

Snowy and Winter on Their Adventure

by Pearl Azeroual-Dray, Swan Azeroual-Dray and Hannah Kremer

Miami Country Day School, Mrs. Kurk & Mrs. Robert- 5th Grade

Tears By The Lake by Haydn Sage

Miami Country Day School, Mrs. Kurk & Mrs. Robert- 5th Grade

The TV Time Machine by Emma Carter

Sigsbee Charter School, Ms. Beutelspacher- 4th Grade

Time Out by Seth Stahlmann

Generation Harvest, Mrs. Stahlmann- 6th Grade

Trading Up! by Nash Klein

Gulf Gate Elementary, Ms. McKenzie - 1st Grade

Uh Oh! Not Again! by Torrica Green

Emma E. Booker Elementary, Ms. T. Williams- 4th Grade

SEVEN UP Winners

The Book by Skyler Stahlmann

Generation Harvest, Mrs. Stahlmann- 9th Grade

The Four Emotions of the Tear

by Kara Mhairi Clare McAuley and Aleksandra Radomska

St. Columba's High School, Miss McDonald - 9th Grade

Grandpa's Photo by Lia Silber

Shelanu School, Tami Philosoph- 7th Grade

Jonathan by Jakob Silver and Kassidy St. Clair

Booker Middle School, Ms. Mills -7th & 8th Grade

The Magic Word by Alisa Konysheva

Humanitarian Linguistic Gymnasium #23

Ms. Marina Trubitsyna- 7th Grade

Music is Destiny by Katie Carlsen

Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, Mrs. Elisha- 6th Grade

Picture of Destiny by Anastasia Narsullaeva

Humanitarian Linguistic Gymnasium #23

Ms. Tatyana Semenova- 9th Grade

Under the Master's Bed

by Isaiah Hernandez, Roubainns Lavaud and Hoyace McClain

Pompano Beach Middle School, Ms. Rogers- 8th Grade

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